Parents' Guide to

The Purge

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Home invasion movie has intense ideas, strong violence.

Movie R 2013 85 minutes
The Purge Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 27 parent reviews

age 13+

Genius horror film has disturbing violence and some strong language

The Purge follows a family of 4 on the night where all crime, including murder, is legal for 12 hours. Despite their advanced security and lockdown tech, the family is faced with dangerous and mind twisted decisions when a homeless man is let inside their home. Little did they know he was a hit target for hunters, and the entire family is now being hunted. The question is, is this film appropriate for your children? In this review I will break down every form of mature and inappropriate content in 5 categories: VIOLENCE: The entire film is filled with graphic and disturbing content along with brutal violence. In the very opening scene of the film, surveillance footage of brutal murders and attacks are shown. A man has his face bashed in, a family is shown lying dead on their driveway, people are shot in the face, etc. however this sequence is quite mild and shows lack of detail or blood due to the poor quality of the cameras and since most of it is in black and white. A teenager unexpectedly pulls out a pistol and is shot in self defense by a main protagonist. This is a very brief scene and little blood is shown on impact, however the boy is dragged upstairs drenched in blood spurting out of his shirt and onto a teenage girls body. A homeless man is brought into the house, later found to be a hit target. When he is found, the family tried their best efforts to hand him over the purgers, but he fights back by holding a teenage girl hostage with a gun pointed to her head. He later hits her face, and is tackled to the ground and shot in the lower abdomen. After this, his head is hit hard with a metal object, knocking him out (Note that this scene is hard to see and fast moving, so none of that violence is in detail). He is then tied up and tortured by a woman sticking a letter opener in his open wound repeatedly. This part is extremely bloody and lengthy unlike the previous sequence. Purgers break into the house. Firstly, a purgers drags a child around on the ground and is about the shoot him, but before the child can be shot his father fires several bullets into the back of the purgers head, killing him (bloody). Then, 2 purgers with a hatchet and a gun engage in a fight with a man. They attempt many times to swing at the man and shoot him but miss. Then the first purgers is knocked out and the other purgers pushed the man to the ground strangling him. The man grabs a pool ball and smashes the side of his head, then he strikes and kills him with a hatchet. Afterward, he roams the room shooting the dead bodies with his shotgun to make sure they are dead (very bloody, graphic). Afterwards, the man is stabbed with a knife and left to die (bloody, up-close). Most of the rest of these sequences just include bloody shootings. An entire family is tied together crying during a ritual surrounded by blood thirsty purgers with knives, but before they can be stabbed, a man intervenes, shooting a purger to death and ordering them to untie the family. A woman is bashed in the face with a shotgun and has her head smashed violently against a table. She screams as blood pervasively pours out of her nose, face and mouth. LANGUAGE: The language in this film is very infrequent, and only shows up towards the end in intense moments. During the course of the film curses such as f*ck, f*cking, motherf*cking, d*mn, and godd*mn are used, however mostly only in one scene towards the end. DRUG USE: None at all. SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY: Two teenagers kiss in bed as the girl starts unbuttoning her shirt before the boy interrupts and leaves the room. Very mild, none other than that. FRIGHTENING SCENES: The entire film is very frightening and extremely nerve racking to watch with jump scares, unexpected moments of brutality and suspenseful, dark atmosphere! OVERALL: Due to the violence, I recommend ages 12-13 and up to watch!

This title has:

Too much violence
4 people found this helpful.
age 15+

A pretty good thriller movie

The movie is really good but it is pretty violent, but the one's who should be remebered is the ones who died and didnt support the purge but also why couldnt they take there hatred out on something else not killing the ones they hate. And why would somebody shoot themselves in the head because they didnt get to kill the dad.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (27):
Kids say (167):

The movie has a fascinating premise, but it's too dark for most teens, especially younger ones. Writer/director James DeMonaco, who previously wrote the screenplays for The Negotiator and the remake of Assault on Precinct 13, adds a new wrinkle to the "home invasion" subgenre here. His idea of the futuristic "purge" brings up many layers of ideas worth discussing. The Purge is clever enough to begin asking these questions right away and to make the audience implicit in the discourse. It's impossible to watch and not wonder, "What would I do?" and "Is this right or wrong?" Or, worse, "What if it's a little of both?"

The movie isn't quite as clever at its story and character level. The typical cat-and-mouse chases around the house rely on characters never looking in the right place at the right time, and it becomes clear that they're more important to the movie as representations than as sympathetic characters. Only Rhys Wakefield as a strangely polite, intelligent, grinning invader provides anything of human interest. Regardless, a movie this smart and ambitious isn't easy to dismiss.

Movie Details

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